Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Font Freebies

A common question I get is "where can I find cute fonts"? I found a website today that has so many cute, free fonts! It is very easy to download and install free fonts on your computer. Here are the steps to take:

1. Download the fonts you want from a font website. Some great ones are Free Scrapbook Fonts, FontFace.com, and DaFont.com




2. When you find a font you like, download the file. It will save on your computer as a zip file, so "unzip" it by double clicking on it. You will have two files that look similar to this. (You can put the zip file in your trash - you don't need it anymore.)


3. Next, if you go into your Applications folder, you have a Font Book. Double click to open it, and you will see a window like this:



4. All you have to do to "install" the font is drag the unzipped file anywhere into the column labeled Font. And voila! Your new font is now installed on your computer and ready to use! You can preview what it will look like in your Font Book also. 


Enjoy and have a fun spring break!




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wonderopolis & Draw a Stickman

It's pretty fitting for this blog that there is actually a website out there called Wonderopolis! (Thanks Jasmin for sharing!) Each day, they post a new "wonder", which is just a fun fact or "wonder" of the day. The topics cover a wide variety of things, from "what is an aglet?" to "how much rain can a rain cloud hold?". The daily wonders could spark classroom discussion, a writing prompt, fit into your science/social studies unit.. the possibilities are endless! You can also view past wonders or search for topics if you are looking for something in particular. 


Draw a Stickman is another fun website that would be a fun story starter or introduction to digital storytelling. It is an interactive adventure that reminds me of one of my favorite children's books, Harold and the Purple Crayon. You start by drawing a stick man, and then follow him through an adventure that you add things to the picture as it unfolds. Would definitely make a great SmartBoard activity! It could serve as a writing prompt also - stop the story at any point and ask the students where they would take it from there, or how would they problem solve the situation?








Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fun with Web 2.0

Looking for a little bit of fun amidst all of the testing? Check out some of these fabulous websites and give your kids a brain break while still learning!

Teach Hub posts weekly video writing prompts. Each week they post a video and then offer suggestions for writing prompts based on grade level, K-2, 3-5, etc. What a fun way to get your students writing! Some video examples include ones for Leap Year, Groundhog Day, the Lorax, and yes, even Angry Birds. You could have it be a writing activity that you do once a week as they post them or once in awhile. 

As an example, here is a Muppets video writing prompt:




Wordia is a new website that you can play the games they have, or create your own (it is very easy to create your own vocab or spelling game!) There are spelling, geography, science, and other subject areas to choose from. For one "Spell it Right" game, they used children from around the world to say the words. I thought that was very unique and would provide another opportunity to bring cultural awareness into your classroom.


I also really like WeGiveBooks.org. While the site does require teacher signup (and then you could post your login for students to use), I think it is well worth it. Created by the Pearson Foundation, We Give Books has several leveled books that students can read on the computer. Every time they complete a book, a book is donated to under privileged children. You could read the books whole-class on the SmartBoard or use it as a center. And, to tie some math in, you could create a chart to show how many books your class has donated to a great cause!

   

If you're looking for a way to perk up your students before testing, I found this cute printable note, and others here